U.S. lean-hog futures also finished higher on expectations of improving pork demand. April futures added 37 to 81.32, Most-active June futures picked up 62 to 92.47.
U.S. live-cattle futures finished higher Wednesday, spurred by cash-cattle sales that were steady with the high end of week-ago levels. April live-cattle gained 55 to $127, June futures picked up 37 to $123.
At the livestock auction held Tuesday in Mount Airy a total of 614 cattle and 28 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended steady to 2.00 higher; bulls were mixed, 4.00 lower to 3.50 higher. Average dressing slaughter bulls, 1000 lbs. & up, sold from $91.50-$97.50; high dressing ranged $103.50-$105
U.S. wheat futures added to their sharp gains as trading ended Wednesday, boosted by poor crop conditions in the Plains and fresh buying interest after a recent price drop. Corn futures were slightly higher, supported by the higher wheat prices and by concerns that corn also may be underpriced after a steep decline. Soybean futures fell, also pressured by greater-than-expected supplies in last week's USDA report.
May wheat in Chicago gained 25 3/4 to $6.96, May wheat in KC gained 18 ½ to $7.35, May corn rose 1 to $6.41, May soybeans fell 13 3/4 to $13.80
U.S. 2 yellow shelled corn trended one to six cents higher when compared to last report. Prices ranged $6.81-$7.27 at feed mills and $6.61-$7.26 at elevators. U.S. 1 yellow soybeans trended 14 cents lower and were $14.20 at processors, and $13.40-$13.80 at elevators. U.S. 2 soft red winter wheat trended 24 to 26 cents higher, quoting $6.01 at the elevators. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants was $441.00 per ton for 48% protein.
North Carolina’s egg prices trended lower on all sizes. Supplies are heavy. Retail demand is light to moderate. The North Carolina weighted average price for small lot sales of delivered, cartoned, grade “A” eggs was 149.54 for Extra Large, 147.35 for Large, 110.17 for Medium, and 81.00 for Small eggs.
Cotton futures edged higher Wednesday as the market consolidated ahead of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's weekly export sales report, due this morning at 8:30 a.m. May cotton gained 35 to 89.22, and December new crop gained 70 to 88.24.
A rout across precious metals markets Wednesday pushed gold futures to a nine-month low. June gold fell $22.40 to $1,553.50, May silver fell 45.1 cents to $26.79.
Gasoline futures tumbled Wednesday as increasing activity by refineries has investors betting on a jump in fuel supplies. U.S. oil refineries last week boosted operations to the highest levels since early January, according to government data released Wednesday. Oil prices were pulled down by gasoline's decline, as well as data that showed rising oil supplies. May gasoline dropped 12.68 cents to $2.91 a gallon, May crude also ended lower, falling $2.74 to $94.45 a barrel, and May distillates fell to $3.00 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures fell for a fourth day on Wednesday amid forecasts for an imminent end to demand-boosting frigid temperatures in the eastern U.S. May natural-gas fell 6.9 cents to $3.90.
On Wall Street stocks fell on Wednesday as weaker than expected economic data caused investors to trim positions ahead of Friday’s jobs report and the defense secretary expressed concerns over North Korea. The Dow dropped 111 to 14,550, the Nasdaq closed at 3,218, down 36 and the S&P 500 fell 16 to 1,553.